Ford End Pre-School, Village Hall, Ford End, Essex CM3 1LL
OUR LOCAL OFFER FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES
The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see clearly what services are available for children with SEND in their area and how to access them.
The following questions and answers form our local offer and shows how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
1) How does Ford End Pre-School know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
At Ford End Pre-School each child has a designated key person. Their role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can discuss these with our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)
Mandy Hurford &/or (MANAGER) Joanna Mardell &/or your child’s Key Person.
The children are always at the heart of everything we do.
Reports from health care professionals, such as health visitors, speech and language therapists, will identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.
Ongoing observational assessments are made of all children and are linked to the Development Matters ages and stages of development. This in some cases identifies individual needs. These observations will be discussed with the SENCo. If your child’s key person has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss this with you, and plan with you to support your child’s learning and development.
Our SENCo will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in the setting and will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. The Pre-School can seek support and advice from the Early Years Area SENCo (Nicola Wiseman from Essex County Council) and Educational Teachers (Essex County Council) with your permission.
They offer settings advice and support to ensure we are meeting your child’s needs and refer appropriately. They meet with the parents after they have observed the child in the setting. Parents’ permission for this involvement is always sought.
2) How will you support my child?
Before starting at Ford End Pre-School we will invite you to a complimentary taster session. This is part of our ‘Settling In’ Policy and Procedures, and is highly successful for all concerned. Parents and children can find this transition very scary and to relieve anxiety we want you to get to know us first. You and your child will relax once you know us and the settings routines and boundaries. This time also helps us to build a picture and gain information about your child.
We will ask you to complete a Registration Form about your child which will be kept in their Learning Journal; this will help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs. At the taster session you will be able to discuss with the Key Person and/or (Manager) Joanna Mardell &/or (SENCo) Mandy Hurford of any concerns or requirements your child may have.
We will work with you to support your child together, listening to you and your child. Our SENCo will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using a Personalised Plan and a Provision Map, and advice from the Essex County Council team and will also explain who may be involved and their roles.
Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards Personal Plan’s and your child’s key person would oversee the targets on the plan. These are always available for you to view and comment on. They are locked away securely after session.
Your child’s key person will be in the sessions your child attends (whenever possible) fostering a relationship with and understanding your child. The SENCo will also be present. Together they will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary. Your child’s learning style, interests and stage of development will be used to support their development.
The manager will maintain an overview of experiences and progress and the SENCo will work with all staff to ensure we are providing the relevant and appropriate support. We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the Personal Plan targets, and planning new ones together, and give ideas to use at home to support your child. Your children will have a ‘Child Friendly Play Plans’ and targets that they can work toward, giving them a voice and involvement in their own development.
3) How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We will get to know about your child before they start and through ongoing observational assessments. Targets linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage ages and stages of development will be set on Personal Plan to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals. In addition to the Personal Plan, they will have a Learning Journal; this will contain written observations, photographs and samples of your child’s work to support staff in assessing and planning to help your child progress to their next steps.
Your child’s key person and our SENCo will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities support your child’s needs, and they will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within our team.
We will ask for copies of assessments from other professionals before your child starts, and advice from Essex County Council (Area SENCo) will be sought, if necessary, with your prior permission.
Mandy Hurford (SENCo) will monitor and analyse progress of children within the setting to address any areas of weakness. This information will be used to focus on specific areas and adapt areas that are not meeting the children’s needs.
The children are involved in planning their next steps, consultations, helping with taking responsibility for their setting.
The children’s learning styles, interests and stage of development will be recognised and used to promote achievements and development.
4) How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Assessment systems are in place such as the 2 year old Baseline assessment, the 2 year progress report and the over 3’s next steps which are all linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development.
We have regular coffee mornings for parents enabling the opportunity to build relationships with others in the setting and regular events throughout the year to help you build relationships with practitioners in the setting.
We are a very welcoming and happy setting with very good relationships with our families.
We have daily opportunities when you are welcome to tell us of your child’s progress and gives opportunities for two way communication between us.
Newsletters are on our website and information is displayed in the main hall and entrance area. Notices are put up on front door with what is happening at pre-school and a list of learning intentions and activities are displayed enabling you to further support your child’s learning. We have Homework Activity Packs that can be borrowed for you to work with your child at home, furthering their education.
5) What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach. They provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day to day care of all our children. We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs and provide personal care such as changing nappies.
Personal health plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. Should you child require regular prescribed medication then you will be required to complete and sign a Medication Permission form and you will be informed of the administration of the medicine and be asked to sign the form in accordance with our Health and Hygiene Policy.
Amy Mardell is our Designated First Aider and completes all medical forms. Staff are vetted and a vigorous recruitment process is in place. Amy Mardell is also our Designated Safeguarding Person, who attends regular conferences and training.
Policies and Procedures are available for parents to read on request.
Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with the environment, and visual strategies, such as a visual time tables and Makaton symbols/signs are used to help them understand our routines.
Our book area is welcoming and provides a quiet area to retreat to if your child is tired, or needs some quiet time.
We are aware that some kinds of undesirable behaviour may arise from a child’s special needs. We will refer to our Behaviour Management policy and will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour. For further details, please see our Policy/Procedures.
6) What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Pre-school?
Mandy Hurford (SENCo) has worked with Special Educational Needs children for 10+ years and is very experienced with working with children with specific needs.
All staff are experienced working with the Early Years age group and understand Child Development.
Staffs have accessed specific training on Speech and Language courses, Positive Behaviour Management, Autism and lots more. Please ask to see our training list. We attend regular training and have worked with children on the Autistic Spectrum, Global Delay, Sight and Hearing Impairments, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Asperger’s, speech and language difficulties and ADHD.
We have experience of working with children with English as an additional language and seek Bi-lingual support. The setting endeavours to cater for children from other cultures and religions and has multi-cultural resources within our setting. We value and respect others beliefs and visual support if given such as communication books, photos and visual timetables.
All children make very good progress within our setting and are happy and well catered for.
We have links with our local Children’s Centre and can sign post you to support which is available through there, for example drop in Speech and Language sessions.
We will work alongside the specialist services involved with your child and they are welcome to visit the pre-school. Working closely with you and your child will enable us to build stronger relationships and understand your support needs better.
The Area SENCo team aims to help Early Years and Childcare practitioners provide the best possible experience for children with SEND at pre-school. The team will support practitioners in meeting children’s individual needs through offering home advice, observing individual children in the setting following a request, suggesting ways to support individual needs, planning next steps with practitioners and parents and sign posting to training.
Parental agreement will always be obtained before the Area SENCo become involved with any individual child. They will support the pre-school in working together with other agencies that may already be involved with a child.
6) What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Pre-School?
The staffs have accessed child development training and have experience working with the Early Years age group. Three members have a First Aid qualification and some members of staff have attended Speech and Language training, supporting Early Communication. All staff regularly attends training which is cascaded to all staff at staff meetings and a record of staff training is kept on file. We are supported with advice from Area SENCo, Speech and Language therapists, Teachers and Health Visitors. Further training will be sought and accessed to support an identified SEND.
7) How will my child be included in activities outside Pre-School including trips?
All visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children. We will endeavour to include parents/carers in the planning of the visit off site to identify the needs of your child. All parents are invited to join us on our main trips.
A risk assessment would be carried out prior to the visit.
We would also take along any aides or medication your child as identified.
8) How accessible is the Pre-School environment? (Indoors and outdoors)
We have a large level hall, a smaller back room and enclosed garden area; the main access has a slope and is accessible for wheelchairs; two toilets with changing mat facilities.
We have large facilities and environment can be adapted to allow easy access and movability. The outside play area is accessed by a ramp. There is a smaller adjoining room, used for additional activities and story time. Toilet access is also level and there is disable parking in the church car park in Church Lane opposite setting.
If you are a parent/carer whose first language is not English, you can nominate a representative who speaks English, or if possible, we can arrange for an external interpreter.
Our daily notice board lists our activities of the day.
Signs and posters around the setting are used with pictures helping children identify equipment and play areas.
We provide multi-sensory activities as part of our planning. Although we have limited funds we shall endeavour to seek out suitable equipment or adapt equipment and facilities to support children with special educational needs.
Policies are updated regularly and are available for parents on the notice board in the hall, and a copy is given to you in the Parents Welcome pack on our website.
Additional funding may be obtained by the setting to help us meet your child’s needs.
Regular risk assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure.
9) How will the Pre-School prepare and support my child to join the pre-school/transfer to a new setting/school?
The pre-school offers introductory sessions for you and your child prior to your child’s start date, when they will be an opportunity to discuss any requirements.
These sessions give us the chance to get to know you and your family, and provide the opportunity for you to share with us details of your child’s needs and the involvement of other agencies, and to agree with you a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child.
We have a well prepared and tested, ‘Settling In and Transition Programme’. This has been used for several years and not only build s firm relationships with all concerned, it prevents separation anxiety.
We offer a flexible settling in period, should your child have difficulties settling in.
When transferring to another setting or moving on to school, the pre-school will invite the Key Person/Teacher and SENCo to attend your child’s sessions at pre-school to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
Staff and children make visits to the local schools when and where possible. We also have photos of some of our feeder schools, which we share with the children. We have very good relationships with our Feeder schools and professionals within our area. We have an excellent reputation with our local community, with statements from our parents stating that we go above and beyond for our children and families.
Your child’s Learning Journal, Personal Plan’s and any other information that may be relevant to your child will be passed on to the new setting giving them the time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make.
If the Area SENCo has been involved they will also help with the transition to school and remain involved until the end of the first term at school.
10) How are Pre-schools resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
A dedicated budget is available to train staff and Inclusion Funding can be applied for to support your child in our setting, if required. The Area SENCo offers us a Lending Library of toys, Sensory Equipment and Topic Boxes.
We have excellent facilities and resources within the setting.
The Area SENCo can also allocate funds for resources and Essex County Council.
11) How is the decision made about what type and how much support will my child receive?
The current Code of Practice is being reviewed and will be actioned in September 2014. The proposal is to remove labelling, such as, children on School Action and School Action Plus, with the emphasis being on meeting the children’s needs by ensuring their individual needs are meet appropriately, for them to achieve.
Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you, your key person and/or the SENCo will identify what support is required.
Extra support will be put in place if necessary.
Ongoing partnerships with you, other professionals – including Area SENCo if they are involved, and ourselves will support the decision making process. Together with our SENCo they will support the decision making process to planned targets on the Personal Plan’s. The Plan’s will be written after consulting with you and will include how you can support your child at home. Through regular observations we can track your child’s progress.
Our SENCo will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within the pre-school in consultation with you and other professionals where necessary with your permission.
Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.
Staff meetings within the settling will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths and needs, and how to support them.
12) How are parents involved in Pre-school? How can I be involved?
We value parents/carers involved with the pre-school.
You are involved in identifying needs, information sharing identifying targets and next steps to focus on at home and in the setting and reviewing progress towards these targets.
Your permission will be sought before involving outside agencies.
You are welcome to become involved in fundraising for the pre-school.
We have coffee mornings, Informal Consultations, Sports Day and End of Term/Year Concerts.
Parents can email or telephone Joanna Mardell (Manager) directly, with any concerns or information requests after nursery hours:
firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile: 07754 876330.
13) Who can I contact for further information?
Joanna, Mandy or your child’s key person are available in sessions, if you would like to discuss your child’s needs. We are able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Families Information Service, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists and Local Children’s centre and can access support from Area SENCo with your permission.
Local Family Centre’s have Family Link Workers, who can support families with all processes at home and within the setting. They can help with forms, computer/internet access and guidance in when to access support and funding.
Joanna is our practitioner for Positive Behaviour Management and can offer advice and strategies to cope with undesirable behaviour.
More information can be found on this website including whom to contact in the first instance.
The Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found on the Essex County Council Family Information Service website. www.essexcountycouncil.co.uk
Free Entitlement for 2 year olds
From September 2013, more 2 year olds are able to get 570 hours of free early education and care per year. This is an extension of the current Free Entitlement (FE) funding for three and four year olds by FE registered child minders, preschools and nurseries.
Research shows that attending good quality early education and care can improve a child’s learning and development. It also helps equip children with the skills needed for when they go to school, supporting them to do well in the longer term.
What is Free Entitlement for 2 year olds?
The Free Entitlement for 2 year olds is funding provided by the Government. The funding offers free, good quality, flexible early education and care for eligible 2 year olds in Essex
What does the funding pay for?
The funding pays for 570 hours per year of flexible early education and care. This is for a maximum of 15 hours per week over a minimum of 38 weeks per year.
Your child will be able to go to any of the following providers who are authorised to offer free places:
- a pre-school
- a nursery
- FE child minder.
Your childcare provider shouldn't charge you for any of this time as the entitlement is for a free place rather than a subsidy towards your fees. However, they can set their own rates for any additional time or services that you take. They should let you know in advance what you will be expected to pay.
Families need to meet eligibility criteria in order to apply for the Free Entitlement for 2 year olds.
2 year olds from families who meet the criteria for free school meals will be eligible. This means that you may be able to claim Free Entitlement for 2 year olds if you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
2 year olds will also be eligible in Essex if:
- Income Support
- Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, provided that you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
- they are a Child Looked After (where Essex County Council acts as the corporate parent)
- the child is adopted*
- the child has a Special Guardianship Order*
- the child has a Child Protection or Child in Need Plan
- The child has special educational needs or a disability (SEND).
These children are eligible if the child:
*You will need to provide evidence when you apply.
- receives Disability Living Allowance* or
- has a current Statement of SEN* or Education, Health and Care Plan
- (EHCP)* or
- is known to the Early Years PARM
Children become eligible for the Free Entitlement for 2 year olds the term after their second birthday. This continues until the term after their third birthday, at which point they will become eligible for standard Free Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds.
How do I apply?
Online with www.essexcountycouncil.gov.uk
. Forms are simple to complete. The Children’s Centre can help with filling form and accessing internet.